CHHS scores 72 in big win,
shows new-found hunger
By STEVEN G. WATSON
Someone call the exorcist, the Charles Henderson Trojans have been possessed.
In a game that had many fans and even CHHS head coach Carl Hollis asking – "who are these guys?" – the Trojans devoured the Northview Cougars 72-57 to end a four-game losing streak and turn their final regular season game into a happy one at home.
"They’ve been acting strange and very different lately," Hollis said with a smirk. "They’ve been real positive and sort of feel like their season is just beginning. It’s a good feeling for them to have and we’ve sort of been talking about what all we’ve been through."
What all they’ve been through is probably one of the toughest regular season schedules a team would ever want to play on any level. With numerous 6A teams and ranked opponents, the Trojans have taken their lumps and finished with a 7-13 record, one not indicative of CHHS teams in the past.
The absence of W’s on their record has done one thing, however. It’s made the team and their coach hungry for a chance to redeem themselves. And what better place to do just that than the Area Tournament this weekend?
"We had a bumpy season so far, but we have faith in ourselves and we’re going to make sure that we close it out like we’re suppose to," CHHS wingman and senior Rory Murphy said Tuesday night. "We feel like we’re just now beginning to play ball.
"This could be the initial game to get us going into the Area Tournament and keep rolling," he continued. "We definitely want to win. We haven’t won all year and we want to win now."
"The key is learning and we’ve learned a lot over the course of the regular season," senior Joey Hollis said. "I feel like that will better prepare us for the playoffs coming up. This season hasn’t been all we might have wanted it to be, but I feel like our record will motivate us to give it our all as we finish out. Any doubts anyone might have against us is just an extra push just to prove them wrong."
"We needed a positive note going into Stanhope to play Wetumpka and this was one," Hollis said. "They tell me that they’re not ready to come home yet and they’re not ready to hang up their uniforms. I told them tonight would be a good time to prove it to me."
The Trojans proved it to Hollis by coming out on fire in the first half and never letting up through all four quarters.
Charles Henderson built up as much as an 11-point lead twice in the first half and held a 33-24 advantage at the break after the Cougars tipped in a basket at the buzzer.
Northview wasted no time fighting back in the third cutting the lead to only four, but thanks to some outstanding team play by the Trojans, CHHS put together a 12-0 run accented by a steal and slam by Quavious Davis.
The night belonged to Marcus Williams, however. The 6-foot-5 center was marvelous on the fast break all evening, time after time slashing past defenders for an easy deuce or a slam dunk much to the delight of the roaring fans.
While it was senior night and Williams and Murphy finished off with 23 and 16 respectively, it was the shooting touch of freshman guard Lakory Daniels that might have been the most welcome surprise in the win. Daniels hit for 16 points, dished out numerous assists against the Cougar’s full-court press and hit his free throws down the stretch not giving Northview a chance for recovery.
"We’ve had some kids over the years here that were very talented, but these kids are very talented too if they just learn what they are supposed to do on the basketball floor," Hollis said. "There’s an art to basketball and kids have to figure that out. You can have a whole lot of talent and not win if you don’t play team basketball. And you can have a little talent and win if you do the fundamental things.
"We’ve just been working on getting ready for the Area Tournament because that’s our only hope," he added. "We’ve used all the games and film that we’ve played and tried to get a good understanding of each other. We’re going to keep teaching and keep hoping."
The Trojans will play their first Area Tournament game Saturday at Stanhope against No. 3 seed Wetumpka. The winner will face Stanhope in the finals and also receive a bid to the Sub-Regionals with the Area Champion hosting and the runnerup hitting the road.
In the girls game, the Lady Trojans made it a sweep of Northview with a convincing 45-23 victory over a team they needed a 3-pointer by Jenean Deveridge in the final minute to beat last time they faced each other.
The Lady Trojans held Northview to only two points in the first quarter and only 12 in the entire second half as Clarissa Parker notched 15 points, including her first two 3-pointers of the year going 2-of-2 from behind the arc. Deveridge and Kelly Miller scored nine and eight respectively to round out Charles Henderson’s scoring.
The CHHS girls now await the winner of the first round of their Area tournament Monday as Wetumpka and Stanhope play for the right to face them in the championship game.